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Two Evenings With Mary

CABE consultant Mary Broderick

CABE consultant Mary Broderick

Mary Broderick listened intently. Her audiences were filled a few dozen people concerned with education in Region 1.  She tried to solicit input about the job of Assistant Superintendent, but took all sorts of opinions about the region as well.  Her visit to the region was cathartic for some residents who clearly needed someone to listen.  Broderick is a consultant who was hired by the joint efforts of the Region 1 Board of Education and the All Boards Chairs (ABC) committee to provide a search process to replace the Assistant Superintendent; these focus groups were part of that process.  She listened at Housatonic one evening, then Cornwall the next as part of nine focus groups including staff and Board of Education members.  She also had an online survey with 162 responses as of Thursday evening (maybe with some repeats).

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Rinse and Repeat

ABC committee, Attorney Gary Brochu, and the Region 1 Board of Education

ABC committee, Attorney Gary Brochu, and the Region 1 Board of Education

The combined group of the All Boards Chairs committee (ABC) and the Region 1 Board of Education held a public informational session on the joint agreements between all seven Boards of Education in Region 1. Board attorney Gary Brochu was present to answer legal questions about the agreements, as he had been before. The questions were very repetitive so that Brochu had to repeat his answers over and over. Most of the questions were aimed at the joint agreement on the employment of the Superintendent, especially the consideration of equal apportionment of compensation costs among all seven boards. The meeting then evolved into an open forum where residents could speak to concerns about the agreements.

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Wake Up Call

Carl Gross, Director of Pupil Services

Carl Gross, Director of Pupil Services

Last night, the Region 1 Board of Education held its first session devoted entirely to the budget for 2015-2016 year. Business Manager Sam Herrick gave them the preliminary budgets for the Regional School Services Center (RSSC) and Pupil Services. The budget for the RSSC was up 2.74%, mostly due to increases in employee compensation. However, the budget for Pupil Services was up 9.01%. Carl Gross, director of Pupil Services, requested over 3 new staff, both direct and contractual. Some of the Board was skeptical of adding fixed costs with declining enrollment.

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Region 1 Survey

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Please take the Region 1 survey on the search for the executive position vacated by the resignation of Assistant Superintendent Diane Goncalves.

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Frozen Misinformation

KCS Science teacher Josh Szwed

KCS Science teacher Josh Szwed

The Kent Board of Education met on a cold winter’s night. The library was barely warmer than outside. But the new Science teacher, Josh Szwed, warmed the group by reporting on his class work in Kent Center School. Region 1 Representative Jonathan Moore outlined the meeting of that Board on Monday. Moore and Chairman Paul Cortese described the discussions of the All Boards Chairs (ABC) committee with regard to the search for a new Assistant Superintendent as well as the joint agreement on the employment of the Superintendent. Board of Finance member Ed Epstein intervened by claiming wrongly that the change to the apportionment of costs for the Superintendent would hurt the local Board. The Board also had the first reading of a new policy on Community Relations.

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Class Expansion

Housatonic teacher Peter Vermilyea

Housatonic teacher Peter Vermilyea

Last night, the Region 1 Board of Education held the first regular meeting of the New Year. English teacher Damon Osora described the move to more non-fiction reading required by Common Core. He showed how technology can be used to facilitate the move. Principal Jose Martinez described three new classes in an effort to expand the offerings at Housatonic. The Board also passed a slew of revised policies dealing with personnel. And a new executive secretary for the Superintendent was introduced.

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Broderick Focus Groups

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Region 1 has announced the tentative schedule for focus groups to get input on the job vacated by Assistant Superintendent Diane Goncalves. Mary Broderick, the consultant hired by Region 1, will be in the area on three dates: January 8, 21, and 22, 2015. During those days she will listen to staff, students and interested residents. In particular, the public can speak in North Canaan on January 8, 2015 at North Canaan Elementary School at 6:30 p.m., on January 21, 2015 at Housatonic Valley Regional High School (Room 133) at 5:30 p.m., and on January 22, 2015 at Cornwall Consolidated School at 6:30 p.m..

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Merry Christmas

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The Process Begins

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Yesterday, the Region 1 Board of Education and the All Boards Chairs (ABC) committee combined efforts again to start the process of replacing the position left vacant by retiring Assistant Superintendent Diane Goncalves. They formalized themselves as the search committee in order to provide their consultant, Mary Broderick, with another focus group. Broderick had already talked to the administrators, mostly Principals, earlier in the day. They decided that they needed to gather the most information possible before deciding on the nature of the administrative position; other focus groups for the staff and the public will follow.

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Searching

CABE consultant Mary Broderick

CABE consultant Mary Broderick

The Region 1 Board of Education and the All Boards Chairs (ABC) committee combined efforts to interview a search consultant this week to replace retired Assistant Superintendent Dianne Goncalves. The consultant, Mary Broderick from Connecticut Association of Boards of Education (CABE), answered many questions about the process. She suggested that the decision on what kind of job to fill should be done in January, followed by 90-120 days of searching for candidates. She expects to conduct meetings with various groups of stakeholders in order to establish a leadership profile. The seven Principals of the region’s schools were of particular interest because much of the extra workload has fallen to them.

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